Residents of Falkirk and the area’s new police commander have something in common – they both want to rid the streets of drugs and drug dealers.
Last week householders in Hawley Road talked to The Falkirk Herald about the alleged drug dealing going on in the street and the associated problems it brings.
They said the last year-and-a-half has seen a “drug den” acting “like a magnet”, attracting anti-social elements to the quiet residential area – with drug users allegedly pulling up in taxis at nearby St Andrew’s Primary School, posing as parents picking up their children but picking up their drugs instead.
Recently appointed Chief Inspector Chris Stewart has been listening to their concerns and the fears of other residents throughout the area and has already been making efforts to crack down on the drugs problem.
Chief Inspector Stewart said: “I am committed to tackling drugs and taking action against drug dealers. Communities across the Falkirk area regularly tell us that drug dealing and drug misuse is a real concern for them and they want us to treat it as a priority – this is what I will do.
“In addition to this, we know the misery that can be caused by drug dealers who target vulnerable people and drug related crime funds organised crime. It is therefore only right we take action.
“I can assure the communities of Falkirk we will take enforcement action again drug dealers operating in the Falkirk area. If we are given information about drug dealers we will take that information, develop it and take action.
“Anyone dealing drugs in Falkirk should know we will be targeting them in the coming weeks and months.”
In the commander’s first six weeks in the role, Falkirk police have searched 14 addresses of suspected drug dealers and recovered around £118,000 worth of illegal drugs – including cannabis, cocaine and ecstasy.
Chief Inspector Stewart said: “These are drugs which are no longer on the streets of Falkirk. To support us locally we have access to Forth Valley wide policing resources and indeed Police Scotland wide specialist national resources who regularly deploy with local officers to tackle drugs.
“However, to be effective, we need the local community to engage with us and tell us information – which they can do in confidence – passing information to us by calling 101 or Crimestoppers.”
The area commander knows the dealers are just one side of the issue and has also placed helping the drug users at the top of the priority list.
He said: “While taking action against the dealers is essential, it is equally as important we support people who are substance users and are targeted by the dealers. There needs to be appropriate support and intervention measures in place to assist people and encourage them to stop taking drugs.
“Many of these people lead chaotic life’s and are vulnerable and need assistance from various agencies. In Falkirk the Police are working with a range of partners and third sector agencies to achieve this.
“If we can support people with their addiction it will mean better outcomes for those individuals and better outcomes for the local community.”